Typographic Terms

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Online booklet explaning typographic terms

Text of Typographic Terms

  • typographicterms

  • type style

    type format

    type anatomy

    text format

  • type style

    fontromanitalicscriptserifsans serif

  • FONTThe letters, numbers and punctuation marks of type design. Typeface and font are used synonymously, however a typeface is a collection of characters with the same distinct design; while a font is the physical means of a typeface production.

    Arial Regular FontApidem re nonectur? Ciamus perum excererore endae nis et, quae volor a que cus explabor aut

    Arial Italic FontApidem re nonectur? Ciamus perum excererore endae nis et, quae volor a que cus explabor aut

    Arial Bold FontApidem re nonectur? Ciamus perum ex-cererore endae nis et, quae explabor aut

    Arial Bold Italic FontApidem re nonectur? Ciamus perum ex-cererore endae nis et, quae volor a aut

  • ROMAN Based on Roman inscriptions, it is always upright in stance. Some typefaces have a slightly lighter version of the roman type known as book. Not all typefaces have a Roman style; many are only cut in bold.

    ITALIC A drawn typeface based around an axis that is angled somewhere between 7 and 20 degrees. Italics are derived from subtly angled calligraphy used in the 16th century. It is not simply just a slanted version of the type family as you can see from this example.

    Roman Roman italic

  • SCRIPT Designed to imitate handwriting and when printed, the characters appear to be joined. As with any handwriting some are easier to read than others.

    Some scripts look crafted for invites.Zapfino

    While some scripts reflect a more common style of writing.Hand of Sean

    and some are more traditonal and decorative.Brush Script Std

  • SERIF A small stroke at the end of a main vertical or horizontal stroke that aids reading by helping lead the eye across a line of text.

    SANS SERIFA typeface that doesnt have any serif strokes. The first sans serif type was designed by William Caslon and was called Egyptian.

    Baskerville is an example of a rounded serif typeface.

    Helvectica is an example of a sans serif typeface

  • point sizeleadingkerningtracking

    type format

  • POINT SIZE The basic unit of absolute typographical measurement, equivalent to 1/72 of an inch or 0.35mm. The point size refers the traditional printing methods and related to the size of the type block rather than the height of the character itself. This is now the bounding box on digital types.

    A j

  • LEADING The spacing between lines of type, measured form baseline to baseline. Leading is a term that derives from the hot metal printing, when strips of lead were placed between the lines of type to provide suitable spacing.

    Dae nobit et pos nectus evendan demoluptis que nimil el et harum qui iditem iur, odis conseque ommodio to eume vel iuntiae sus, tota Mo iusam culpa dolorem et etum arum ipsunt resse dolupta tiumendit mos excerfer-um faceped ignihil ibeati reritatet volorenet im fuga. Ut el ipsamet, sit rat estius re dit omnisinvero blaboreprem dolupictate rent, si

    Dae nobit et pos nectus evendan demoluptis que nimil el et harum qui iditem iur, odis conseque ommodio to eume vel iuntiae sus, tota Mo iusam culpa dolorem et etum arum ipsunt resse dolupta tiumendit mos excerfer-um faceped ignihil ibeati reritatet volorenet im fuga. Ut el ipsamet, sit rat estius re dit omnisinvero blaboreprem dolupictate rent, si

    Negative tracking can cause lines to crash into eachother and make it difficult to read.

    Whereas standard tracking makes legibility alot clearer and gives the paragraph more structure.

  • KERNINGThe removal or addition of spacing between each character to achieve a balanced visual look and to handle difficult combinations of letters.

    Standard Kerning

    Kerning Applied

  • TRACKING The typographical adjustment that affects the overall amount of spacing between the characters of a word or text block. Digitalisation has made tracking type possible.

    L o o s e t r a c k i n g

    Normal tracking

    Tight tracking

    Negative tracking

  • x-heightligaturesampersandascender

    type anatomy

  • X-HEIGHT The height of non-ascending lowercase letters (such as x or a) from the baseline. Different fonts have different x-heights even though the maybe the same point size. This can affect legibility and can look odd when different fonts are used together. This can be resolved by adjusting the point size until the fonts look even.Fonts with large x-heights are useful for text heavy publications such as newspapers, when the type is printed at a small size.

    BASELINEIs an imaginary line that all type characters sit upon. The baseline is highlighted above.

    Bmojhx x-heightbaseline

  • LIGATURESIn writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes are joined as a single glyph. Ligatures usually replace consecutive characters sharing common components and are part of a more general class of glyphs called contextual forms where the specific shape of a letter depends on context such as surrounding letters or proximity to the end of a line

    examples of common ligatures f l and f i

  • &AMPERSANDAn ampersand is a logogram representing the conjunction word and.

    examples of various ampersands

    &&&&&&& &

  • DESCENDERIn typography, a descender is the portion of a letter that extends below the baseline of a font. In most fonts, descenders are reserved for lowercase characters such as g, j, q, p, and y. Some fonts, also use descenders for some numerals (typically 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9). Such numerals are called old-style numerals. (Some italic fonts, such as Computer Modern italic, put a descender on the numeral 4 but not on any other numerals. Such fonts are not considered old-style.)

    Aefswy

    ASCENDERThe portion of a lowercase letter that rises above the main body of the letter. As seen in the example below.Ascenders, together with descenders, increase the legibility of words.

    ascender

    descender

  • gridsalignment

    text format

  • GRIDSGrids are graphic structures used to organise individual elements within a design or page. A grid serves a similar purpose to the scaffolding used in building construction. It acts as a positioning guide for text, pictures, diagrams, columns etc.

    Grids mark columns into which text is flowed. Grids can bring calm and order to a series of page elements.

  • ALIGNMENTThe horizontal position of type within a text block.

    centred centred aligns each line horizontally in the centre to form a symmetrical shape on the

    page.

    justifiedjustified text sees each line extend from the left to right margin by varying the space between the words and breaking them.

    right alignflush right, ragged left alignment sees the

    text aligned to the right. This layout is not common as it is difficult to read.

    left alignfollows the principle of handwriting, with text tight and aligned to the lefty margin.